What woman forgets the moment of discovering her first period? The shock? Fear? Panic? Loathing? Embarrassment? Pride? Happiness?First Blood examines the ways in which women from countries as diverse as India and Sri Lanka, England, the Philippines, Greece, Italy, Uganda, Indonesia, Fiji, Chile, Ukraine, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong, recall this moment of menarche and what it meant to them, their families, and their societies. The book investigates beliefs and traditions surrounding menarche, including the concepts of uncleanness, of ceremony, of secrecy and lore still existing in many parts of the world.